The Andrea Parodi Award, directed by Elena Ledda, is a world music festival and contest in Cagliari which promotes the Sardinian language and culture comparing it with other ones from all over the world. The event lives in the name of the late Sardinian singer-songwriter Andrea Parodi, who established himself as a highly valued interpreter in the world music genre after having a successful pop music career.
Andrea Parodi (Porto Torres, July 18, 1955 - Quartu Sant'Elena, October 17, 2006) was an Italian singer from Sardinia. He is known for his vocals with several groups, including Coro degli Angeli from 1978 to 1987, and Tazenda from 1988 to 1997 and again 2005-2006, as well as his solo career.
His work, including that with Tazenda, blended folk roots of Sardinia with rock and Italian pop, bringing international attention to the island's culture, including Sardu. He worked extensively with various international artists.
He was director for a video about Tazenda and some documentaries on Sardinia, and was producer for other artists, such as fellow Sardinian, Marino de Rosas.
He died from cancer, before fully completing planned work on the album, Rosa Resolza, with Elena Ledda, which was released in 2007.
A museum exhibit was established in 2010. In 2015, the Sardinian town of Nulvi dedicated a new park to him. His legacy also endures in the Premio Andrea Parodi, an annual prize for World Music.
Elena Ledda (born 17 may 1959 in Selargius) is an Italian singer from Sardinia.
Born near Cagliari, Ledda pursued conservatory studies in oboe and voice.
Her soprano voice was suitable for opera, which she performed early in her career, but she was attracted by the folk singing of her native Sardinia and eventually recorded primarily in that genre. She worked with Cooperativa Teatro di Sardegna in the late 1970s and has toured and recorded internationally.
She was chosen by Sardinian movie director, Gianfranco Cabiddu, to be the leading voice for his live music/cinematic mix project, Sonos de Memoria, featuring film footage of Sardinia from the 1930s and leading contemporary Sardinian musicians playing over the film. Sonos toured the world with other Sardinian musicians such as Paolo Fresu.
In 2006, Ledda participated in Visioni di Sardegna, written and produced by her longtime collaborator Mauro Palmas, who restored film footage of Sardinia from the Luce Institute, and assembled 18 musicians under the direction of RAI TV director, Rodolfo Roberti. Greek singer Savina Yannatou was invited to feature in the project.
Her collaboration with Savina Yannatou resulted in a series of ten concerts at the Half Note club in Athens at the end of March 2006. This met with critical acclaim and TV interest in Greece, and resulted in a CD (Tutti Baci, Lyra 1095) also featuring Mauro Palmas and Primavera en Salonico.
Ledda's collaborators have included Lester Bowie, Israeli singer Noa, Maria del Mar Bonet (Mallorca), Paolo Fresu, Andreas Vollenweider, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos. In 2005 Elena collaborated with Neapolitan violinist, Lino Cannavacciuolo (Peppe Barra's violinist and original founder of the Solis String Quartet, now Noa's band of choice) to produce her CD Amargura.
The BBC's Andy Kershaw said of Ledda, "I planned a trip south to make a program about Sardinian music, almost solely on the evidence of a CD I was given of Elena's voice. We went to Sardinia and I was blown away. Elena and her band make traditional music from Sardinia using all the mainstream instruments, with hardly any 'traditional Sardinian' instruments in sight, yet it sounds so traditional and so not-mainstream. They have achieved a truly unique and refreshing sound. Clearly rooted to Sardinian tradition, yet so modern."
A 2007 recording was done with Andrea Parodi, who died before completing the work. Ledda sang at Parodi's funeral.
Sardinia is probably the most culturally distinct of all the regions in Italy and, musically, is best known for the tenore polyphonic singing, sacred chants called gosos, the launeddas, an ancient instrument that consists of a set of three single-reed pipes, all three mouth-blown simultaneously using circular breathing, with two chanters and one drone and the cantu a chiterra, a monodic song that is accompanied by guitar, widespread mainly in the center and north of the island.
The launeddas are an ancient instrument, dating back to at least the 8th century BC. They are played using circular breathing. Launeddas are used to play a complex style of music that has achieved some international attention, and they are still played during religious ceremonies and dances (su ballu). Some of the most famous player were Efisio Melis, Antonio Lara, Dionigi Burranca and Luigi Lai. Many of the launeddas musicians are from the south of the island from villages like Villaputzu, San Vito and Muravera in the subregion named Sarrabus, or from Samatzai and even from Cabras near Oristano and Ovodda near Nuoro. Distinctively, they are played using extensive variations on a few melodic phrases and, because of the technique of circular breathing, a single song can last over an hour.
Traditional singing accompanied by guitar cantu a chiterra is also found in Sardinia, represented by performers like Luiginu Cossu, Maria Carta, and nowadays Francesco Demuro; this genre is especially well known in the northwest region of Logudoro near the city of Sassari and in the northeast region of Gallura.
Rural polyphonic chanting known as cantu a tenore is sung with four vocal parts. They are bassu (bass), mesa boghe (middle), contra (counter) and boghe (leader and soloist). The most popular group is Tenores di Bitti; another one is Tenores de Oniferi. In November 2005, the A Tenore vocal style of the Sardinian pastoral culture was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Interesting fact is that two voices of Cantu a Tenore choir have significant similarities with Tuvan Throat Singing (Khöömei), especially the voices of "bassu" and "contra", which are technically related to "kargyraa" and "korekteer".
Sacred gozos (in Sardinian language gosos), or sacred songs, can be heard during religious celebrations, one of the most famous song is the Deus ti salvet Maria ("God save you, Mary") also known as the Sardinian Hail Mary.
Traditional dances include su ballu tundu, su passu torrau, su durdurinu, su dillu, sa logudoresa, s'arroxiada, su passu e tres, and sa campidanesa.
Aside from the launeddas, traditional instruments include the benas, the organittu, the chiterra, and the tamburinos.
Other influential Sardinian musicians include Totore Chessa (organetto), 1930s launeddas legend Efisio Melis, Maria Carta, Mauro Palmas, Elena Ledda of Sonos and Suonofficina, Cordas et Cannas, Antonello Salis piano, Paolo Fresu (trumpet) and Gesuino Deiana (guitar).
The modern Teatro Comunale of Cagliari is home to the permanent Choir and Orchestra of the Opera and Concert Association of Cagliari and seat of the Cagliari Opera Foundation. As well, there is a Roman amphitheater in Cagliari that is used for outdoor summer concerts and festivals. The city is the site of the Palestrina music conservatory.
The town of Tadasuni is the site of the interesting Giovanni Dore museum, a collection of 400 traditional Sardinian folk instruments. The Ente Musicale di Nuoro was founded in 1987 and, among other activities, sponsors the annual Nuoro Jazz Festival directed by trumpeter Paolo Fresu. Sassari is the site of the Luigi Canepa Music Conservatory, the Teatro Politeama Verdi, built in 1884; and the Civic Theatre (1827).
Su patriottu sardu a sos feudatarios ("The Sardinian Patriot to the Lords"), also known as Procurad'e moderare, barones, sa tirannia ("O barons! Make sure you temper [your] tyranny"), is the revolutionary anthem written in Sardinian language by Francesco Ignazio Mannu during the revolt occurred in 1794 all over the island against the feudalism, which culminated in the expulsion of the Piedmontese tyrants: the hymn had been translated in English by John Warre Tyndale in 1849, in French by A. Boullier in 1864 and in German by B. Schütze in 1979.
S'hymnu sardu nationale ("The Sardinian National Anthem") was the anthem of the Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia (later to become the Kingdom of Italy); it was written in Sardinian by Vittorio Angius in 1842. It was replaced by the Marcia Reale (Royal March of Ordinance) in 1861.
Dimonios (Demons) is the official hymn of the Sassari Mechanized Brigade, written in Sardinian by Luciano Sechi in 1994.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Date: October 2019.
Photo Credits: (1) Sardinia, (2) Premio Andrea Parodi, (3) Andrea Parodi, (4) Fanfara Station, (5),(8) Elena Ledda, (6) Riccardo Tesi's Bella Ciao, (7) Luigi Lai (unknown/website).